Chattanooga Prep opened its doors to students on Thursday morning.

The all boys’ public charter school is located in Highland Park and is a partner school of Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy.

Co-founders Ted and Kelly Alling say opening the school has been their dream for years.

“Ted and I, we’re ecstatic, we’ve been praying about August 2 for a really long time,” said Alling.

They say it has taken them three years to open the school which focuses on serving underprivileged boys in grades six through 12.

“It is a testimony of our community that this is not just us and our dream but it’s a dream for a lot of people and I feel like it’s really going to be a game changer for the under served community,” said Alling.

The school includes what’s called “lifeguards,” more than 60 men in the community who have committed the next seven years to helping guide each student.

The mentors will call, text, visit and have monthly events to support the boys enrolled at Chattanooga Prep.

“Our whole mantra is we want to develop leaders that go to college and come back and help lead our community. We want to promote brotherhood, let these boys really feel like they’re part of something special and we have rigorous standards of excellence,” Alling told Channel 3.

A few hundred people showed up for the celebration to kick off the new school year and put the students on a path to success.

The school will have a longer day, a longer year and will begin each morning with a town hall style seminar where the boys will have a character lesson to start the day.